Thursday, February 15, 2007

Incident Yesterday

My Daughter was involved in an incident with another student yesterday that has left me fuming.

It involved the other student being sent to the principal's office. Twice.

But you know what bugs me?

No one at school bothered to tell me.

I was left to find out via voicemail - from the other child's mom.

At that point I asked her if anything happened, and she told me and started to cry.

I called the other mom back and we talked about it for a little bit.

Then my mind started to work.

Why wasn't I notified? Is this being taken seriously? Would I have been notified if she's been physically hurt?

And my mind started to spin like only a mother's can.

We talked about it a little more at bedtime, and I let her know that she didn't have to play with the other child today or ever if she chose. That she wasn't responsible because the other child got in trouble. We talked about the other friends she could do things with.

This morning I emailed both her teacher and the principal, letting them know I wanted to discuss this.

I wanted to discuss the lack of communication. If it's so serious the other child ends up in the prinicpal's office, I think I should know what's going on. And not hear about it from the other parent.

Her teacher called within the hour. The principal beeped in while I was on the phone.

Her teacher let me know that this was being taken very seriously. I let her know how I heard about it. That my daughter didn't want to talk about it. She said that she was "respecting her privacy" and asked if my daughter wanted to tell me or if she wanted her to tell me. I told her that wasn't an option. That I needed to be notified by the school. She was very apologetic. I asked if she had been physically hurt, like a black eye, would I have been notified? She said absolutely. I told her I didn't think this was any different - except it was emotional and not physical. I reiterated several times that I didn't appreciate hearing about this from the other parent. That to ask a 7 year old if she wanted to be responsible for telling me was not reasonable. That on something like this, she could have called me, told me what happened, and let me know that she wanted to be the one to tell me. I could handle that. We ended the conversation on a good note, and she told me that she would be watching the interaction between the two kids.

After talking to her, I called the principal back. My main issue was that I wasn't notified. He thought I had been, and that he normally doesn't handle that aspect of it. I told him that it didn't have to be him - it could have been the teacher, the nurse, the guidance councelor - it could have been any number of people. He apologized profusely, and let me know that there was written documentation in the other student's file if there were to be any further instances. After discussing the issue with her once, he didn't think she 'got it', so he had a second conference with her and her mom. He let me know, also, in instances like this, he usually talks to both kids (separately) to get the "whole" story. He said though, that my daughter strikes him as kind of shy, and it probably wouldn't have accomplished anything to have her talk to him. I appreciated that, and told him so. She would have been mortified.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but all they had to do was call. A five minute conversation. Is that asking too much?

Gah. Welcome to Parenting 101.


Mitzi Green said...

it's not asking too much.

they placed the burden of responsibility on a 7 year old. THEY should be in trouble.

Long Island Dad said...

You are definitely NOT over reacting! If we don't keep on top of school personnel who will? You were RIGHT ON to immediately demand answers! These are OUR children, WE decide what's right for them! GOOD JOB G!

Schloobie said...

You are so *not* overreacting. Hopefully they will handle it better next time. Well, hopefully there WON'T BE a next time.

Kevin Charnas said...

3 minutes, not even 5. Well, maybe 5, but NO!!! you are NOT asking too much. Respecting a 7 YEAR OLD'S PRIVACY????? Oh man...oh good lord.

I think that the next time you don't get notified or even if this teacher pisses you off in the slightest? You call me. And I'll pepper spray the lot of them. I think that's perfectly reasonable given the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, I hear ya. Good for you for standing up to them.

Gretchen said...

Mitzi- no doubt. Thanks.

LID - that's my point - If I don't stand up for her, who will?

Kevin - glad to know you've got my back.

Melissa - thanks!

This parenting stuff is hard work.

g-man said...

Respecting her privacy = not wanting to deal with it further. I'm glad that the other parent called you, otherwise, well otherwise would have sucked no doubt. I think that you handled the whole thing very well.

Angel said...

You absolutely should be notified! What is this 'respecting her privacy' stuff? When it comes to what happens at school we are in the dark completely unless told. Situations like that absolutely MUST be told to the parent. How else can we properly advise our kids?

Amanda said...

I totally agree with you that you should have been notified, for sure! Communication between home and school is crucial to a child's success, well being and happiness at school.
Can you tell I'm a teacher ;)